How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts Without Blanching?

How to freeze Brussel sprouts without blanching

In addition to their great taste, Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a valuable source of protein and fiber. To use a vegetable for a long time, people harvest and preserve it in many different ways. So can Brussels sprouts be frozen unblanched? How to do it? Learn how to freeze Brussel sprouts without blanching.

Are Brussels sprouts good for health?

Brussels sprouts are plants in the Brassica Oleracea family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and collard greens.

Brussels sprouts contain a lot of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Carotenoids and Fiber. They are low in calories but rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Brussels sprouts have a bitter, pungent taste. This type of cabbage is also classified as a nutritious food because it can bring many good health benefits.

You can eat Brussels sprouts as part of a diet rich, together with fruits and vegetables to provide the antioxidants your body needs for good health.

However, it’s not goof if eating Brussels sprouts so often. We should eat them no more than once per week, varying our diets with similar vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

Can you freeze Brussel sprouts without blanching?

The vegetable is most important during the winter when the body especially needs vitamins. To always have Brussels sprouts on the table, they need to freeze them.

Experts say that unblanched Brussels sprouts retain their distinctive flavor and a significant portion of nutrients when frozen properly. After thawing, the cabbage loses its density, becomes softer and less crispy, loses its characteristic green color, and turns slightly yellow. However, this does not affect its taste.

Although Brussels sprouts differ in flavor from white cabbage, they are not inferior in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Nutritionists recommend regularly adding this vegetable to your diet because its use is very healthy.

Select and prepare Brussels sprouts for freezing

Select Brussels sprouts for freezing

Original varieties and hybrids (Isabella, Rosella, Rudnef, Dolmik) are more suitable for canning and freezing. Mid-season varieties and hybrids (Franklin F1, Casio, Boxer F1, Nuts F1, Diamond F1) last longer than the previous ones. However, late-ripening cabbage varieties are selected for long-term preservation.

Brussels sprouts should be selected for long-term storage with green heads (not yellow), no black spots, hard and small (diameter over 2 cm), tight, elastic leaves, uniform color, and glossy shine. They look like tiny white cabbage and don’t have a spongy or puffy texture. Small ones are the most delicate.

It is important to scrutinize the tips for insects, damage, rot, and other defects.

Prepare Brussels sprouts for freezing

For frozen storage, Brussels sprouts need to be prepared in steps:

  1. Cut from the stem, along the stem, leaving a foot up to 5 cm long at the base of the plant.
  2. Wash the damaged ends and cut them off. This is to keep Brussels sprouts fresh for a long time.
  3. Remove the leaves when cutting on the stem, leaving only 2-3 at the top.
  4. Soak the selected Brussels sprouts and the stalks (that are cut off) in salted water for 15 minutes (5 teaspoons with 3 liters of water) so that insects hidden under the leaves emerge.
  5. Rinse with tap water and dry.
  6. Store frozen Brussels sprouts, finally.
Preparing Brussel sprouts for freezing is important
Preparing Brussel sprouts for freezing is important

Freezer storage time

Brussels sprouts without blanching are stored from 0 to +4°C; relative humidity is 95%.

With fresh Brussels sprouts stored in the refrigerator in the vegetable compartment with a plastic bag with holes, the shelf life is up to 2 months. Under optimal storage conditions, their storage time lasts up to 4-5 months.

With Brussels stored in a plastic bag or plastic container in the freezer at -18°C, their shelf life is up to one year. Thawed cabbage Brussels cannot be refrozen.

You can freeze Brussels sprouts with blanched or unbalanced method. However, freezing blanched Brussels sprouts is the best way because blanching help vegetables last longer and best preserving the flavor and nutrients.

Let’s explore how to freeze Brussels sprouts unblanched.

Further reading: What Are the Best Cheap Freezers for Home?

How to Freeze Brussel sprouts without blanching

1. Separate the Brussels sprouts from the stem

If they are already separated from the trunk, you can skip this step. To harvest Brussels sprouts, you will grab each one and pull it off the stem. After separating all the nodes, you discard the whole branch.

Further reading:  Can You Put Food Straight into a New Freezer?

2. Soak the sprouts in warm water

An easy way is to soak sprouts in warm water for about 10 minutes before storing them in the freezer. The clean water will wash away any dust or dirt from underneath the leaves of the mustard greens.

3. Wash the Brussels sprouts and pat dry

Use a towel to dry each sprout. It is essential to dry the sprouts entirely before storing them in the freezer; otherwise, ice crystals will form on the projections.

4. Put the Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag with a zipper

Depending on the number of sprouts, you need to use one or more plastic bags. Once the bag is full, use your hand to squeeze the air out and press the mouth of the pack.

You can also put a sufficient amount of sprouts in each bag for one-time use. When you need to use it, you need to take out a pack without re-measure it.

5. Use a marker to write the date on each bag

The date on the bag will save you from having to remember how long the sprouts have been stored in the freezer. You can write the expiration date on the bag, so you don’t have to count the months every time you need to use Brussels sprouts.

After 12 months, Brussels sprouts begin to lose their original flavor and texture. If the projections become dry or discolored when you take them out of the freezer, it could be a sign that they are frozen. The sprouts are still edible but no longer tasty.

You can store fresh brussels sprouts in the freezer for 12 months
You can store fresh Brussels sprouts in the freezer for 12 months

Should you blanch Brussels sprouts before freezing?

Benefits of blanching

Even though you can freeze Brussels Sprouts without blanching, it’s better to blanch them before freezing. Here are a few reasons:

  • Preserve and retains the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the vegetable
  • Keep the Brussels sprouts firm and fresh
  • Prevent the loss of color, flavor, and texture and allow the sprouts to remain crunchy after frozen

How to blanch and freeze Brussels Sprouts

  1. Prepare: Separate Brussels Sprouts from the stalk, wash and drain them thoroughly to get rid of worms and insects hiding in the leaves
  2. Blanch: Pour water in a large stockpot, wait until it boils. Put Brussels sprouts in the boiling water for about 3-5 minutes depends on how large the Brussels sprouts are.
  3. Ice-water bath: Take the Brussels sprouts out of the pot and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water. This step makes veggie to become firm up. Wait until they are cool.
  4. Dry: Place them in a clean kitchen towel to drain and dry.
  5. Flash freeze: After they are completely dry, place dried Brussels sprouts on a tray with parchment paper. Then, put the tray in freezer for about 60 minutes.
  6. Store: Finally, take the tray out. Transfer frozen Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag or container, seal it tightly and store it in the freezer.

Further reading: How to choose the best freezer for a hot garage

How to thaw frozen Brussels sprouts

It’s not difficult to thaw Brussels sprouts as they are small. Just leave them on the counter with room temperature and wait them to defrost.

For some dishes, you can put them directly to the cooking pot.

How to cook frozen Brussels sprouts

Roasting the frozen Brussels sprouts is a perfect option as it gives the best flavor and crunch. Besides, it’s extremely easy. You don’t need to thaw the sprouts.  Here is how.

  • Spread the frozen Brussels sprouts on a parchment-lined pan. Don’t defrost them.
  • Toss them with oil and seasoning. You can add some pepper to make it a little bit spicy.
  • Roast Brussels sprouts in the oven until crispy

Conclusion

There are different ways to freeze Brussels sprouts. As the sprouts are small, so you can freeze lots of them each time. To freeze Brussel sprouts without blanching may require some crucial steps to ensure they don’t lose their unique flavor or the crunch. Moreover, they can stay fresh for a whole year.

Reference:

1.     How To Freeze Brussels Sprouts, healthiersteps.com, Retrieved on Feb. 23, 2022

2.     How to properly freeze Brussels Sprouts, thekitchenwhisperer.net, Retrieved on Feb. 22, 2022

Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, a compact fridge or freezer becomes one of the essential items in many homes. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing these kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.